Friday I shared a story from our Michigan house. We bought it with the intention of spending the rest of our lives there, and we poured our hearts and souls into that house. For three years, we worked our butts off – with a lot of help from our family and friends – and we really turned it in to the amazing home it was meant to be.
And the crazy thing about it…when I look back now…is I have no idea how we did it.
We didn’t have any money to speak of. Not that we do now, but we’re certainly a whole lot more comfortable today than we were back then. We both worked full time – just like we do today – and yet we somehow managed to find the time to transform that house from top to bottom in just three short years.
So basically, we made it really nice for someone else to enjoy. 😉
Granted the house had “great bones” to start. They may have been covered in some bad choices from decades past here and there – but we really did have a lot to work with from day one. Gotta give credit where credit is due, right?
But when I really think about it, I think part of why we were able to accomplish all of that can be attributed to a couple of things:
1) We knew our resources were limited, so it made our options limited. It mostly became about what we could do with some paint, what we could do with our skills, and…what we could do with some more paint. We weren’t looking at it from a perspective of “How do we make this perfect?”, we were looking at it from more of a “How do we make the most of this right now?” perspective.
2) “Pinterest Perfect” didn’t exist then. Facebook was just a blip on the radar then. We didn’t live in a world where we were constantly flooded with all the amazing things everyday people were accomplishing with everyday budgets and their everyday lives. Up until that point, the beautiful spaces we saw were all in magazines, and for some reason magazine spaces didn’t carry the same pressure. Homes in magazines were supposed to be perfect. They were supposed to be special. People didn’t actually live in them. Obviously, I know that last statement is not true, but it always kind of felt that way, right? Or maybe it only did to me…
But we didn’t look up from our computers or our phones and see our surroundings as “not good enough” or “never going to be as good as…” In fact, neither one of us even had a cell phone then. The distractions and the doubts and the second guessing didn’t exist in the way they do today. There was no posting pictures about the room we painted or the staircase we refinished. Regardless of whether we were proud of what we had accomplished or not (and no doubt we were proud), we didn’t have the pressure of being judged for how it turned out, or feel like we were going to be compared to someone who did the same thing but did it better. Those thoughts didn’t exist, so we just fixed things up to the best of our ability at that time, checked them off the list, and moved on to the next project.
It was simpler. Period.
So why am I babbling on about all this? Because I want to embrace that simplicity a little more. Because I want the theory of “good enough for now” to be good enough again. Because I want to stop feeling like we have to wait to do things until we have all the resources and all the time to do them perfectly.
Case in point, our kitchen.
For five years, I have hated walking into my kitchen.
Not only do I hate the way it looks and feels with its pink and blue linoleum, falling plaster, dingy paint, and ripped contact paper countertops – Who has contact paper countertops?! Oh wait. I do. Have you ever heard of such a thing as contact paper for countertops…?
But it doesn’t function very well either. The whole space is only about 9 x 10 and there is a door or a window on every wall. An oversized fridge and stove are smashed together on one side, but on the other is a really fantastic farmhouse sink. The whole wall is pretty much a sink. We’re talking 5 feet of sink on 9 feet of wall. The sink basically is our kitchen. There is only one electrical outlet, so our microwave, coffee pot, etc. all have to be shoved on one side of the room – and it just so happens to be the side that the sink has allowed for 3 feet of counter space. In other words, prep space is pretty limited in here.
Some pretty significant layout/window placement/plumbing, piping, wiring changes are in order.
But we’re not going to do any of that right now.
Jordan is way too busy with work and his health to take on that kind of project, we can’t justify the cost of bringing someone else in to do it for us (plus we take a lot of pride in doing these things ourselves – even if it takes us a lifetime to get them done), and after a recent discussion about this room, I’m kind of excited to see what we can come up with by working with what’s already here. Not to mention, I don’t know if all the stars will ever align to make this the “perfect” kitchen.
So let’s look at the positives.
Obviously the sink, although large, is pretty great. I have always loved the faucet, tarnish and all. The cabinets go all the way to the ceiling and are quite charming. I adore that little cut-out detail under the sink. And look what we found under the linoleum…
I do believe we can make something out of all this.
We’re going to tackle this kitchen much like we did in our Michigan house. I’ll share all the details of the plans with you later this week – I’m pretty excited about it.
Want to know what else I’m pretty excited about? I’m typing this post from my office. It’s DONE!
It was much too dark and dreary to get any pictures this past week and weekend, but as soon as that sun peeks out, I’m grabbing my camera. I think you’re going to like how it turned out. 😀